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Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency honors a select group of companies and institutions that go above and beyond to protect the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Throughout the year, the award-winning organizations all made a significant impact to millions of individuals, families and businesses. Not only do these energy management efforts lead to saving the environment, they oftentimes lead to dramatic cost savings. 

This year, we at Dude Solutions are proud to say that three of the award winners are clients. What's even more impressive is that these three clients made up a third of the nine total public-school districts awarded among the 163 winners.  

Paul Fletcher, Senior Client Service Advocate, got to work closely with each client along the way and said, “It’s wonderful to witness the hard work of the passionate energy professionals from Gresham-Barlow, Kenton County School District and Virginia Beach City Public Schools being recognized on a national level. Seeing the drive for excellence firsthand that goes into making these results a reality is truly inspiring. This distinct group of people have found a way to realize savings and champion an initiative that takes dedication and drive, and I can’t think of three institutions and teams more deserving of this honor.” 

Each of our clients made tremendous efforts internally, seen and unseen, to experience these results. For that, we can’t help but brag on them below!  


 Gresham-Barlow School District (Gresham, OR)


For Gresham-Barlow, sustained excellence is an understatement. Since first implementing an energy management plan in 2004, the district has saved more than $14.5 million. That breaks down to about $1 million a year for the past 14 years. Terry Taylor, Director of Facilities at Gresham-Barlow, says that these savings equate to funding about 20 teacher positions a year. Last but not least, they average a 97 ENERGY STAR® score across their buildings — that's highly efficient. 

Check out what else Gresham-Barlow School District did in 2017, and hear more about their energy success in this video


  Kenton County School District (Ft. Wright, KY)


Similarly to Gresham-Barlow, Kenton County is not new to this scene. The district has been promoting energy management to the staff, students and community since 2005. Since then, they have saved more than $11 million. Just this past year, the district avoided more than $1.4 million in energy costs, which comes out to 38 teaching positions. If that isn't enough, the district continued to push for excellence and reduced its energy usage by four percent since 2016. 

Here's a look at what else Kenton County School District did in 2017. 


  Virginia Beach City Public Schools (Virginia Beach, VA)


In their second year winning this award, Virginia Beach City Public Schools sure did make a splash. Since 2006 the district has avoided costs of more than $4 million a year. Also, after converting three schools to geothermal HVAC systems, teachers saw an opportunity to use these as tools to aid in educating students. But it doesn't stop there – VBCPS was an integral part of Virginia Beach being ranked as the 20th city and 2nd mid-size city in the 2018 EPA Top City rankings with 38 of the tracked buildings belonging to the district.  

See what else VBCPS did in 2017. 


You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure 

Andy Townsend, Vice President at Dude Solutions, said, “These three groups of people have changed entire districts by their efforts. Each of them has saved their districts millions of dollars — I hope that doesn’t go unseen. I think I speak for all Dude Solutions when I say how proud we are of our clients.” But, while we can’t be any prouder, we also recognize that energy management can be a daunting task.  

“Where do I even start?” may be a question you’ve asked yourself before. But, with energy often being the second most expensive line item in an education institution’s budget, it’s about time that you start somewhere. There is no definitive first step for every institution, but something that is for sure is that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Having a proper energy management solution in place could be the difference between saving a couple hundred thousand dollars and going into the red.  

Interested in learning more about what you can do to regain control of your energy usage and utility bills? Come watch a demonstration on Dude Solutions Energy Management

Congratulations to all award winners! 


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